BETSEY JOHNSON

The cart-wheeling stalwart is still spinning.
Known for her tongue-in-cheek sass, whimsical style, and catwalk cartwheels, Betsey Johnson is more than just a designer — she is a brand. Her fashion career began in 1964 when she won Mademoiselle magazine’s “Guest Editor Contest” and from there she went on to design for Manhattan boutique Paraphernalia and ready-to-wear firm “Alley Cat” before launching her own line in 1978. Influenced by her early days as a dancer, Betsey’s designs are always vibrant and bohemian, including pieces like textured sheer tights, metallic heels, and floral-print dresses with lace trim.

Betsey said, “Girls do not dress for boys. They dress for themselves, and of course, each other. If girls dressed for boys, they’d just walk around naked all the time.”